Politics: October 2006 Archives

Prognosticator of Prognosticators


Charles Krauthammer must read Papa-Lu.

Obama should be thinking ahead as well — using ‘08 to cure his problem of inexperience. Run for the Democratic nomination and lose. He only has to do reasonably well in the primaries to become such a compelling national figure as to be invited onto the ticket as vice presidential nominee. If John Edwards, the runner-up in ‘04 did well enough to be made running mate, a moderately successful Obama would be the natural choice for ‘08.

In one of the posts that I linked to here, Daniel Larison says:

There is also the matter of admittedly limited experience; Jon Edwards ran up against this obstacle, and while he managed to make the VP slot he has become the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the losing vice presidential candidate with the least experience in government?” or the answer to the other trivia question, “Which Southern Democrat thought he was the second coming of Bill Clinton?” Obama does not want to become the Jon Edwards of the future, and therefore will not run in two years.

What Larison is forgetting is that Edwards - even more than Obama is all rhetoric and no substance. His senate term was up in 2000 and there was much doubt as to whether Edwards could have held his senate seat had he tried (he was the fourth straight challenger to defeat an incumbent for that seat). In other words, Edwards was quite possibly at his political zenith when he tossed his hat in. Obama, on the other hand, is a rising-star Democrat from a state that's trending more and more leftward. Even if he loses the 2008 primaries and fails to gain the vice-presidential spot on the Dem ticket, he will still be a sitting U.S. Senator who will likely retain his seat in 2010, meaning he well still be a senator in 2012 when McCain is facing re-election or in 2016 when Hillary finishes her 8 years in office.

Obama may then likely perceive that he has nothing to lose and the vice-presidency to gain by running in 2008.

The problem with this analysis is that it presumes that Obama is cynical enough to vie for a spot on the Dem ticket with Hilary Clinton, or that he's dumb enought to run thinking he'll be president. Much as I dislike Obama, he's neither of those things. He's a very sincere man I happen to disagree with on many, many things. I think he's smart enough to know that with such a scanty record, he'll have to run on his ideas, which are either generically meaningless (we need to "come together" and "work for the common good") or are too far in left field.

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Elections Obama


I was going to write a post on the elections here in Illinois, but I just checked my registration (here for any other Champaign folk that move around a lot) and saw that I can't vote this year. I haven't registered since my last move, and for some reason I'm no longer registered in my last location. Oh well. I can't say I'm too upset, as the main race in my state is the gubernatorial one, where the challenger loves abortion only a little bit less than the incumbent. I am saddened, however, by the realization that I will not be able to pull the lever against Lisa Madigan, our preening, petty attorney general who last time around campaigned on shutting down crisis pregnancy centers.

So rather than get into the nitty-gritty, I'll simply link the Illinois Citizens for Life voting guide. I don't mean to imply that abortion is the be-all, end-all, but it's the best starting point, and most of the races are pretty black and white. I hasten to point out that Madigan's opponent has ICL's second best rating.

I'll also note that there is a write-in candidate from the Constitution Party. Check out his website here. Note to any future potential write-in candidates: if your last name is "Stufflebeam" you might consider shortening it before you ask people to hand-write it on a ballot. [UPDATE]: Prompted by a snarky comment I deleted for rudeness (not that I expect its author to return), I'll mention that I do support Stufflebeam as the superior candidate and would vote for him were I registered. Write in S T U F F L E B E A M ! [/UPDATE]

So instead of the big election post, I'll dump on my state's darling, Barack Obama.

On Sunday, Obama outed himself as a potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate. The man personifies the phrase "wolf in sheep's clothing". Policy-wise, he is indistinguishable from any of the worst liberal boogeyman, yet he somehow wins praise as a "moderate."

Here's an example: Obama opposed an Illinois intiative to protect children who are born alive during the course of abortion. In other words: the doctor screws up the abortion, the baby is born, alive. America's Next President says, "Yes, you can kill that baby." He opposed bills to end partial-birth abortion and to require parental notification. It doesn't get any more extreme than that on abortion.

Then he gives a speech where he expresses shame for the language his website used to describe his abortion stance. He should not have called pro-lifers "ideologues," he says. This speech is widely hailed as an olive-branch to the religious. Obama is a "bridge-builder."

There's an old saw about the definition of an ambassador as someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip. That's what this amounts to. Obama (and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and various other pro-abortion politicians in their own ways) say "we respect the view point, but we disagree." This is empty-headed cant. They're still telling those of us who abhor abortion to go to hell. When I hear somebody say they respect a preposterous belief, it leads me to suspect they respect neither the belief nor the person who holds it.

Back to Obama. What, exactly has he accomplished? He lost his first race for Congress in 2000, then in 2004 he beat up on.... Alan Keyes, a good man (who won every debate with Obama handily), but a horrible candidate. Since becoming senator, Obama's greatest achievement has been the Call to Renewal speech and writing a book.

He's a hard-core liberal with few achievements. So, could it be his life story that has inspired so many of his supporters?. Go here to see why that's a silly notion. Obama is a Harvard law school graduate and the son of a Harvard economist who was a Kenya native. Obama was born in Hawaii and raised there (except for a 4-year stint in Indonesia) by his white Kansan anthropologist mother. He's a life-long private school kid, whose only adventures in life seem to involve cocaine. That sounds more like our current executive's life story than an "up from the streets" or even "from a little town called Hope" narrative we might expect.

So what is it? Is it simply his skin color? Daniel Larison notes : "Yes, he’s charismatic. But so is Harold Ford [Papa Lu's note: Ford is the African-American candidate for the open Tennessee Senate seat], and you don’t see legions of adoring fans beating a path to his door to touch the Once and Future King." See Larison for Obama-bashing gone wild here, here, here and here.

So here we have this hard-core leftist who manages to wrap his leftism in a rational-sounding articulate black shell. Are people really buying it?

What are his prospects if he does run? Grim, I think. Yes, he's got charisma, I guess, and sure he's probably got the entire black vote. But he really got his rear end handed to him by Keyes in the 2004 debates, and he really has not been tested (except in losing to Bobby Rush just six short years ago). I can't imagine he would run thinking he's going to win.

The only angle I can imagine is Obama running, getting flailed in the primaries, and then usig the publicity of the run and the funds in his war chest to secure a spot as Veep. His name will be whispered and touted openly regardless of what happens, but a little self-promotion on the primary stage can only help. Thus we could very well end up with a Clinton-Obama ticket, which (nightmarish as it sounds), I quite frankly can't see winning less that 45% of the vote So perhaps there's some wisdom in Obama floating his name out there after all.

Parenthetically, sort of, following the trouncing of Congressional Republicans we'll be seeing in two weeks, I think we're looking at a rough decade for the GOP. Now, given the events of the past three years or so, I can't say I'll be sad for Republicans, except that it will be an absolute tragedy for the issue of abortion. For all the just criticism of Bush, simply having a Republican in the White House has stemmed a tidal wave of public funding (and aggressive governmental promotion) of abortions and embryo-destroying stem cell research. I don't see 2009 being a very good year for the fetus.

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Kos, The Republic of Virtue and My Cubbies


This has already been all over the place, but here it is again: Wonkette interviews Kos for a liberal blogger love-fest on Wired.

The revelations:

  • The tidbit that has drawn the most attention:
    An activist who has succeeded in mobilizing so many passionate users might next head for a career inside the political machine. Run for office. Start a PAC. Become a consultant. But no. At what's arguably the top of his game, Moulitsas says he's "going offline" next year, taking his obvious knack for building online communities and applying it to that other great American pastime: sports. And once he gets his network of sports blogs ramped up, he'll turn to building communities in the real world, a chain of giant meeting places "replicating megachurches for the left" – complete with cafés and child care. Moulitsas has shown he can harness people's enthusiasm, but he says he doesn't want a leadership role in these "democracy centers."...

    While working on the mechanics of the sports blogs, he plans to embark next year on building real-world destinations for progressives and liberals throughout the Midwest, "cultural outposts" designed to attract thousands of like-minded liberals. "Each one of these would have a vast left-wing conspiracy component," he says, like leadership training or discussions on progressive issues.

    Over at The Corner, Byron York has been having fun with this: see here, here and here. If Kos is looking for a name, he might try the Temple of Reason.

  • Kos is a Cubs fan. Figures. Like we can collectively be any more disgraced. Daniel Larison says that this explains his whining, but I disagree. Kos is the neighborhood bully, he whips his minions into a frenzy and then sends them after the enemy du jour. Cubs fans serenely accept their fate, stubbornly supporting our team, win or lose (mostly lose), regardless of management's demonstrated indifference to our long suffering. We are much more like Republican voters than the Kossacks.

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Crushing on a Paragraph

Thirty-two years into his career as a writer of books, Bob Woodward has won a reputation as slipshod ("Wired"), slippery ("All the President's Men," "The Final Days"), opportunistic ("Veil"; everything) and generally unaware of the implications even of those facts he's offered that have gone unchallenged. As a reporter he's been compared to a great dumb shark, remorselessly moving toward hunks of information he can swallow but not digest. As a writer his style has been to lard unconnected sentences with extraneous data in order to give his assertions a fact-y weight that suggests truth is being told. And so: On July 23, 1994, at 4:18 p.m., the meeting over, the president gazed out the double-paned windows of the Oval Office, built in October 1909 by workers uncovered by later minimum wage legislation, and saw the storm moving in. "I think I'll kill my wife," he said, the words echoing in the empty room. I made that up. It's my homage.

From Peggy Noonan's otherwise - brace yourself - appreciative piece on Woodward's new book.

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from October 2006.

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